Government

Fairfield Council Discusses Overlay Zones, Manure Management and More

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FAIRFIELD, NJ — The Fairfield Township mayor and council introduced three new ordinances at the council meeting on Monday.

If adopted, an ordinance that was adopted on March 15 that established two new overlay zones, which are a mixed use overlay (MUO)-1 zone and a residential zone overlay-1, will be amended.

The MUO-1 Zone allows ground-level retail with residential development above. The residential zone overlay allows multi-family housing.

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The township wants to add additional properties with the MUO-1 Zone, which were intended to be included in the original ordinance. These additional properties are located along Fairfield Court and east of Daniel Road West to Passaic Avenue, which is within the MUO-1 overlay zone.

The public hearing and final vote on this ordinance will be on May 8.

Township Administrator Joseph Catenaro reported at the meeting that he met with the Fairfield superintendent of schools, school board business administrator, and board of education members to discuss their concerns on the new zoning laws. The school was concerned that with the new ordinances, which allow multi-housing and residential space above commercial space, there would be a strain on the school system.

Catenaro ensured those concerned that the township does not see any major change in school enrollment due to the overlay changes. He said that school enrollment is already increasing due to the fact that the population of Fairfield is getting younger.

He added that he believes the new housing overlays will attract an older population that wants to remain in the Township of Fairfield but needs to downsize.

Another ordinance was introduced on Monday that would authorize the establishment of a special law enforcement officer class III position.

The superintendent of schools is requesting to have one special law enforcement officer class III for each public school in the district in order to protect the township’s schools.

Governor Chris Christie recently signed a bill establishing the position of special law enforcement officer class III. These officers would be uniformed, armed, retired police officers who, when on school property during times when students and staff are present and/or anytime they are going to and from the school, would have the authority to take police action as a full time law enforcement officer. The New Jersey law will be effective on June 1, 2017.

The cost of one such officer will be $30 per hour, and the cost will be added to the township’s budget.

Some requirements for the position include: Must be retired police officer who has previously served as a duly qualified, fully trained, full-time officer in any municipality or county of New Jersey, or a member of the New Jersey State Police, and must be living in New Jersey, left agency in good standing and must be less than 65 years of age for appointment.

The public hearing and final vote of this ordinance is Monday, April 24.

The third ordinance introduced relates to manure management and storage. It states that manure cannot be spread between the dates of May 15 to Sept. 15.

The township granted approval of a soil and grading permit for 74 Passaic Avenue. The removal of minimally polluted soil will be replaced by clean fill. The property is not in the flood zone. John King of Matrix New World Engineering, a licensed site remediation professional and senior project site manager, represented the company at the council meeting.

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